Distinguishing Cabins & Cottages

Key Difference – Cabin vs Cottage

The distinction between a cabin and a cottage can be somewhat unclear, as both terms refer to small, simple houses or shelters. The main difference between the two seems to be the building materials: cabins are always made of wood, while cottages can be built from various materials.

Key Takeaways

  • Cabins are always made of wood, specifically logs, while cottages can be made from materials like wood, brick, mud, or stone.
  • Cabins tend to have a more rustic and unfinished look compared to cottages, which may appear more sophisticated and “finished.”
  • Cabins are usually found in remote or wooded areas, whereas cottages are often located in waterfronts or the countryside.

What is a Cabin?

A cabin is a small dwelling constructed of wood, specifically logs. These structures are often less finished and architecturally simple. Cabins have a long history, particularly in American history, where they are associated with the first-generation homes built by settlers. Cabins often have a rustic appearance and are cruder than cottages. They are typically found in remote or wooded areas and may lack modern conveniences like electricity. The term “cabin” can also refer to a private room or compartment on a ship or airplane, such as the captain’s cabin.

What is a Cottage?

A cottage is a small, simple house, usually found in the countryside. The word “cottage” also carries the connotations of being old or old-fashioned. Cottages can be made from various materials, including wood, brick, mud, and stone. In English architecture, a cottage typically has a ground floor and an upper floor with one or more bedrooms under the roof. The term “cottage” can also apply to a simple house that is part of a farm and used by a worker. In Canada and the US, cottages are often considered holiday homes by a body of water, such as a lake or the sea. Compared to cabins, cottages may appear more finished and sophisticated, with painted or papered walls and modern conveniences like water and electricity.

What is the difference between Cabin and Cottage?


  • Cabins are always made of wood.
  • Cottages can be made of a variety of materials, including wood, brick, and stone.


  • Cabins have a more crude and unfinished appearance compared to cottages.
  • Cottages appear more sophisticated than cabins.


  • Cabins are typically situated in remote and wooded areas.
  • Cottages are generally located in waterfronts or the countryside.


  • Cabins may lack modern facilities.
  • Cottages usually come equipped with amenities like electricity and water.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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